Giani Harpreet Singh (Akal Takht Chief) Wiki, Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More – WikiBio

Giani Harpreet Singh is the Akal Takht Jathedar (highest spokesman of the Sikh community).

Wiki/Biography

Giani Harpreet Singh was born in Gidderbaha town of Muktsar district, Punjab. He studied in a government school till Class 12. He holds a diploma from a Guru Kashi Gurmat Institute, Damdama Sahib. While talking about his education, in an interview, he said,

I have done all my higher studies after becoming a granthi.”

He pursued a one-year diploma course in divinity at Punjabi University, Patiala. Later, he earned a master’s degree in comparative religious studies from Punjabi University. Later, he pursued a PhD in the comparative study of teachings of the Quran, the holy scripture of Muslims, with Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhs.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 8″

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

Giani Harpreet Singh

Family

Parents & Siblings

Not much information is available about his parents and siblings. His father was a Granthi in a village’s Gurudwara.

Wife & Children

He has two daughters.

Career

At the age of 24, Harpreet Singh started working for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) as pracharak (preacher) in 1997. He was appointed as the Head Granthi, a ceremonial reader of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, at Gurudwara Sri Tutti Gandhi Sahib in Sri Muktsar Sahib, Punjab in 1999. In 2003, he became a Granthi in the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Muktsar. In 2015, Giani Harpreet Singh was appointed as the Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, which is located in the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), following the resignation of Giani Gurbachan Singh from the post. In 2017, his appointment was regularised. Gurbachan Singh was slammed by the Sikh community for pardoning Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in 2015 in a blasphemy case after the latter appeared in a robe similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh. The Jathedar is an ordained leader of the Sikh clergy who leads a Takht, a sacred and authoritative seat. He was appointed as the Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib in Talwandi on 21 April 2017.

Controversy

Slammed for Promoting Arms Among Sikhs (2022)

On 23 May 2022, Giani Harpreet Singh said that every Sikh should possess a licensed modern weapon due to the prevailing circumstances. In his video message, Giani said,

The teachings of Guru Hargobind Sahib are still relevant. There is a need, especially for Sikh boys and girls, to follow the orders of Guru Hargobind Sahib. They should take training in ‘gatka’ (a traditional martial art), sword fighting and shooting. And every Sikh should also try to possess a licensed modern weapon because such are the times and such circumstances have been developing.”

The remark sparked a sharp reaction from Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who said the temporal head of the Sikh community should instead give a message of peace and brotherhood. Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring termed Harpreet’s remarks as mischievous and demanded his removal from the post of Jathedar. The remarks were made on the occasion of Guru Gaddi Diwas of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Guru of Sikhs who brought a transformation in Sikhism by arming and training Sikhs to wage a war against the barbarous Mughals.

Political Inclination

Giani Harpreet Singh is inclined toward Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Facts/Trivia

  • Muhammad Habib, under whom Giani Harpreet Singh was doing his PhD research, said,

    He [Giani] is very humble. Even after taking over as the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, he used to come to me like any other student. I think his understanding of other religions will help him function better.”

  • The Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala opposed the appointment of Giani Harpreet Singh as an Akal Takht Jathedar and endorsed the appointment of Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara as a Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib by the “Sarbat Khalsa.” Jagtar Singh Hawara was convicted in the assassination of the former Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh and jailed in Tihar Jail.
  • On 28 September 2021, Giani Harpreet Singh met with Dr Aamer Ahmed, Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and appreciated ETPB and PSGPC’s efforts for ensuring the maintenance of Gurdwaras in Pakistan.
    Giani Harpreet Singh in a meeting with Dr Aamer Ahmed

    Giani Harpreet Singh in a meeting with Dr Aamer Ahmed

  • In September 2020, Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh publicly punished SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal and executive committee members for failing to check the misappropriation in its publication department that led to 328 Guru Granth Sahib saroops going missing. Saroop is a physical copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, also called Bir in Punjabi. Giani Harpreet Singh pronounced the punishment on the spot and said,

    Do parkarma of Darbar Sahib sarovar (Circumambulate the holy tank) right now, chanting Satnam-Waheguru and then be present here again. Don’t talk to each other and fold your hands while doing so.”

    On the completion of the above-mentioned punishment, he announced the remaining punishment and said,

    You are directed to hold one Akhand Path (non-stop recitation of Guru Granth Sahib) at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib for pashchatap (regret and remorse) for the 2016 fire incident that led to saroops getting burnt. Hold another Akhand Path at Akal Takht. When that Akhand Path would be going on at the Takht, the SGPC office-bearers and executive members will sweep the street leading to Darbar Sahib from Saragarhi Serai to Ghantaghar Chowk”

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